Venezuelan sisters make gourmet chocolates at Miami's Cacao Arte

 

A taste of Venezuela in every bite

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Linda Bladholm

With Valentine's Day approaching, show your love to a sweetheart with Miami-made chocolate.

Sisters Isabel and Susana Garcia turn out luxury bonbons for their online business Cacao Art using quality cacao from their native Venezuela. They work in a rented commercial kitchen cutting creamy ganache into squares and dipping crunchy honeycomb caramel into dark chocolate for their collections. Their cardamom and Tupelo honey-infused ganache won a Good Food Award at a ceremony in San Francisco last month.

They came here from Caracas, where Susana was an architect and Isabel worked as a journalist. Susana went to Lenotre in Paris to learn advanced chocolate techniques, and they started their company two years ago. They use single-origin criollo confectionery cacao from fair-trade grown beans that's imported from Venezuela in quarter-sized discs.

The duo temper melted chocolate in a machine until stabilized, then form the glossy chocolate into small cylinders, pyramids, clusters and half-rounds. They make almond and milk chocolate nougat, dulce de leche toffee with toasted pecans, chocolate caramel with sea salt, coconut fudge in dark chocolate cups, vanilla marshmallows dipped in chocolate, dark chocolate with lime as well as the honey and cardamom confection.

There's also dense, dark chocolate ganache dusted in gold flakes, dark chocolate filled with passion fruit puree, spiced gingerbread ganache, peppermint thins and chocolate discs topped with bits of dried apricot, raisins, and pistachios.

You can even have an edible heart-shaped chocolate box filled with nine bonbons sent to your sweetie.

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